The Nebraska Alfalfa Marketing Association (NAMA) will launch an online alfalfa evaluation tool at the upcoming Mid-America Alfalfa Expo & Conference, to be held at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds in Kearney, Nebraska, February 7 and 8.
“The evaluation tool allows users to calculate a sound value of their alfalfa based on a nutrient comparable basis or a market comparable basis,” said Kyle Lechtenberg of Spencer, Nebraska, a member of the NAMA board who is helping to develop the tool. “The goal is to have a specific value for buyers and sellers to use as a starting point when marketing alfalfa, instead of simply asking neighbors or coming up with a ballpark guess.”
Lechtenberg explained that the nutrient comparable basis model allows users to input current prices of corn and soybean meal. The formula then provides a value of the alfalfa on a comparable nutrient basis. The market-based model, however, uses U.S. Department of Agriculture hay price reporting for inputs. It then adjusts those values based on the natural tendency of buyers to pay better for higher quality hay and flatten out for lower grade commodity hay.
“It will be possible to have both models weighted to get an average of the two,” he said. “This is useful in years like this when the market basis model shows a higher value than the nutrient basis model because of short hay supplies. It’s really a great tool that will benefit buyers and sellers alike.”
The Mid-America Alfalfa Expo & Conference is for alfalfa producers, livestock/dairy producers and others who are involved in alfalfa production, purchasing, hay feeding or processing.
Registration is $10 per person in advance (tickets must be purchased by noon, February 3, 2012) and $20 at the door. Participants under the age of 18 are admitted at no charge. Registration is available online at www.AlfalfaExpo.com.